DANCING AGAIN: UC To Face Harvard In NCAA Championship
March 18, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
UC BASKETBALL RELEASE
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team returns to the NCAA Championship for the fourth straight season with a second-round game against Harvard on Thursday March 20 at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena (12,210) in Spokane, Wash.
UC (27-6) is the No. 5 seed while the Crimson (26-4) are the No. 12 seed. No. 4 Michigan State and No. 13 Delaware are the other two East Region teams in Spokane.
The game is scheduled to tipoff at 2:10 p.m. ET. It will be televised by TNT with Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Doug Gottlieb (analyst) and Jaime Maggio (sideline) calling the action. The game will also air on 700 WLW AM with Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Chuck Machock (analyst) on the call.
SCOUTING THE BEARCATS
The Bearcats finished the regular season with a 27-6 mark, their best regular-season record since the 2001-02 campaign. UC finished with 15 American Athletic Conference wins, the second-most league victories in school history. Head Coach Mick Cronin was named the American Coach of the Year, Justin Jackson (Cocoa Beach, Fla./Arlington Country Day) was named the conference's defensive player of the year and Sean Kilpatrick (Yonkers, N.Y./Notre Dame Prep) was a unanimous First-Team All-AAC selection and has been tabbed for multiple All-America teams.
SCOUTING THE CRIMSON
Harvard is 26-4 on the year, winners of the Ivy League. The Crimson, coached by Tommy Amaker, closed the season on an eight-game winning streak. The two teams' only common opponent was UConn with the Crimson falling 61-56 in Hartford, Conn. UC faced the Huskies three times, with each team winning on its home court and UConn earning the win in the American Athletic Conference Championship semifinal. Harvard averaged 73.6 ppg and was +3.0 on the rebounding margin. Five players average double-digits with junior guard Wesley Saunders (14.0) leading the way. Sophomore guard Siyani Chambers (11.1), junior forward Steve Moundou-Missi (10.5), senior forward Kyle Casey (10.0) and senior guard Laurent Rivard (10.0) also average double figures. Moundou-Missi and Casey pace the Crimson, pulling down 5.8 and 5.7 rebounds per game, respectively.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Bearcats and Crimson have met once on the hardwood, at the neutral site Volunteer Classic on Dec. 13, 1974 with Harvard earning a 77-76 win. Thursday's game will be the furthest west UC has played since the 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational and the furthest postseason destination since UC took on Gonzaga in the first round of the 2003 NCAA West Regional in Salt Lake City, Utah.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
The Bearcats are making their 28th overall appearance in the NCAA Championship, fourth consecutive and 18th in the past 23 seasons. UC has compiled a 43-26 record on the way to winning two National Championships (1961 & 1962), making eight regional finals (1959-63, 1992-93, 1996) and six Final Fours (1959-63, 1992).
Cincinnati is 2-1 as the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Championship and hold a 6-3 mark in East Region games.
CINCINNATI'S SPOKANE TIES
UC is 1-1 all-time in games in the state of Washington, playing the University of Washington in Seattle twice. The Bearcats are 1-2 vs. Gonzaga all-time but have never played a game in Spokane with all three matchups against the Bulldogs coming at neutral sites. The driving distance between Fifth Third Arena and the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena is 2,049 miles.